By Jan Bierman Talbett
There have been many times over the years where I have stood on my back porch and listened to a military funeral unfold. The sound of the gun salute, the haunting sound of a lone bugler tap dancing, the honor given to that one veteran, these things still touch me. It’s one of the reasons I decided to bring Wreaths Across America to Whitesville.
Once I set things up with Wreaths Across America, I reached out to my neighbor, David Flamini. David told me a few years ago about his experience with Wreaths Across America. He and his nephews, Scott, Jeremy and Chris, are the owners of Flamini Trucking and have all been on the convoy from Columbia, Maine to Arlington National Cemetery on several occasions. They will tell you how humbling and moving this experience was for them. These guys donate, not just their time, but all of the expenses involved in delivering the wreaths.
When I asked David if he was interested in being part of Wreaths Across America for Whitesville, he said yes. The fact that Dave will be delivering the wreaths from his own hometown is pretty special, add to that that he will have the honor of delivering the wreaths for his own father, brother and great-uncle, well…if that doesn’t tell you don’t squeeze your heart, nothing will.
David came up with the idea and design for a Wreaths Across America float for the Bicentennial Parade. Three generations of Flamini have taken part, making this an amazing float. Running back and forth while so many people were working on this tank got me thinking, what a wonderful example the Flaminis are for their children and grandchildren, not only in being the kind of neighbors who come to the rescue when something breaks, but teaching their children about family values, kindness and respect. I can’t thank them enough for taking part in this effort!
They say that as long as someone says your name, you are never forgotten. We would like to remember each of our veterans by saying their name as a wreath is laid on their grave on December 17th. This will be a community event, with the ceremony and wreath laying beginning at noon.
Please consider helping us by sponsoring a wreath. You are invited to sponsor a specific veteran, or perhaps a veteran who may no longer have family to honor them. If you choose a specific veteran, you will need to contact me so we can ensure that a crown is reserved for that veteran. If you would like to honor a veteran who is not in a participating cemetery, you can order one to be delivered to our cemetery, which you can then pick up and take to the cemetery of your choice. Be sure to let me know if you choose to do so as well. My own father is buried in Wellsville, so I’ll do this to honor him.
The cost to sponsor a wreath is $15. The Friends of Whitesville Rural Cemetery participate in the donation program through WAA. For every wreath sponsored through our link https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/171161/Overview/?relatedId=171153&modSw=donate $5 will be donated to the cemetery. This means you are helping in two ways, instead of one. If you
prefer not to sponsor online, we can give you a paper form with our ID number on it, which can be sent to WAA.
Our community does not currently have a Veterans Monument. Funds generated from the return program will go into a fund to help purchase a memorial.
If you would like more information about WAA, how to sponsor a wreath, or donate to the Veterans Memorial Fund, please join our Friends of the Whitesville Rural Cemetery Wreaths Across America Facebook group, call Jan @ 607-368- 1105 or email [email protected].